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Yoga Studio Sued in Shooting Death

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The parents of Maura Binkley are suing the yoga studio and property owner of the place where she was killed. They are claiming that adequate security was not provided the day of the incident and this failure directly resulted in their daughter’s death.

In negligent security cases such as this, a plaintiff claims that a property owner or the company that was in charge of managing the property at the time should have known that they were risking the health and safety of any invitees. The plaintiffs claim that third-party criminal activity made it likely that such a shooting could happen and that their daughter’s death was the unfortunate result of that activity.

Understanding Negligent Security Claims

Negligent security claims are filed under a premises liability theory of tort lawsuits. Premises liability lawsuits require that a plaintiff prove that a property owner or a company in charge of managing a property failed in their duty to protect the safety of those on the premises. In all premises liability cases, negligence is proven by foreseeability. The plaintiff must successfully argue that a dangerous condition was foreseeable and thus could have been avoided. If the dangerous condition was foreseeable, the plaintiff must show that there was some reasonable measure that could have been taken to prevent the lawsuit.

In this case, that fact is somewhat difficult to establish. The incident occurred when a gunman, Scott Beierle, entered the Hot Yoga Studio posing as a customer. For what appears to be no reason at all, he opened fire on the customers killing Maura Binkly and Dr. Nancy Van Vessem. He then turned the gun on himself.

While the shooting did not have a clear motive, a police investigation revealed that Beierle had a deep-seated hatred of women and was a self-identified “incel” or involuntary celibate. The incel movement is fueled by disaffected online males who congregate anonymously on public forums and blame women for their problems. The militancy of their language and memes have been described as a form of “stochastic terrorism” which seeks to incite those who may be unstable into committing terrible acts of violence.

This is a Difficult Case to Prove

While the neighborhood may have had a lot of third-party criminal activity and even shootings, there is no direct link between than criminal activity and this seemingly random act of violence. It remains impossible to claim that the yoga studio or those who ran it could have anticipated an act of terrorism on their property. The plaintiffs will likely claim that the fact that there was any reported violence at all should have been enough to hire security to guard patrons within the studio and had that been the case, two lives might have been saved.

Talk to a Miami Premises Liability Attorney Today

If you’re injured due to the negligence of a property owner, the Miami personal injury attorneys at the office of Alan Goldfarb, P.A. can help you recover damages related to your injuries. We can help.

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